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March 26, 12
Christian Identity in Negotiation with “Others”
- Means teaching
- Written around 100CE – familiar with earlier Christian writings
(Matthew‟s gospel), but no church hierarchy yet (this came later in
the second century).
- First time we see an early Christian manual, handbook of
community morals, rituals, and discipline: “community rule”
- Rules as reflective of local reality: glimpse into earliest details of
liturgy, functioning of leadership.
- Composite document: contains elements from different
backgrounds (Jewish, Judeo-Christian) and stages of development.
- Status of text debated among early Christian writers, but was a
well-known and well-used text into the fifth century CE.
- Two Ways document, chapters 1-6.
- Liturgical treatise, chapters 7-10
- Treatise on community organization, etc…
- “Evolved literature” – Product of a developing process, various
layers of composition that have been compiled by author-editor –
product of community (rather than the product of a single author).
- Religious worldview: Two Ways document.
- Liturgical practice and community order.
- Distancing from Jewish practice – fasting, prayer-setting boundaries
- Organization of community – protection from illegitimate teachers,
scene of wandering missionaries.
- Main point - Early attempt to create and maintain sense of
UNITY in this social movement.
- Not fasting or praying (“like the hypocrites do” – Jews).
Christian Apologetics: Background, the Christians as “Others” Saw
- Defense of Christianity – Christian Apologetics
- Looking here at evidence from antiquity that allows us to gain an
impression of how Christianity appearance to „to others‟, outsiders
to the movement.
- Allows us to see the relation between the work of Justin Martyr, for
example, and the social reality Justin was experiencing as a
member of a Christian community – why he chose to present
Christianity in a certain way.
- Christian identity shaped in very basic ways by how others saw
them – example, term “Christian” itself (Acts 11:26)
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